The Indian group Mercator Limited, previously Mercator Lines Limited, aims to earn US$300 million from the sale of coal assets in Mozambique and Indonesia to finance partial acquisition of the state-owned Dredging Corporation of India, reports the Indian newspaper The Economic Times.
The group has been negotiating with Fairfax Financial Holdings of the Canadian billionaire Prem Watsa and with the American investment funds KKR and Blackstone the joint presentation of a proposal to purchase the 74% portion that the Indian government has to sell in the state-owned dredging enterprise, the newspaper adds.
Dredging Corporation of India is that country’s biggest dredging company and the only one in the sector that is state-owned. It counts a fleet of 19 dredgers.
The sources cited by the newspaper indicated that Indian and Chinese companies are interested in the coal assets, which include a mining licence in Mozambique and three mines in Indonesia.
“The administration decided that coal was no longer a key business for the group’s activity,” the sources specified, adding that the deal should be concluded by the end of the year.
The Mercator Limited group, founded in 1983, is a conglomerate active in commercial navigation, logistics, dredging and coal exploitation.